Affordable Care Act | WOSU Radio

Affordable Care Act

Ohio Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine reviews his prepared comments ahead of a primary election night event, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.
Bryan Woolston / Associated Press

For the first time in eight years, Ohio gets a new governor on Monday. Its 70th governor, to be exact. But Mike DeWine is hardly a new face for Ohioans.

The federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional earlier this month said that the law can remain in effect while under appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his ruling filed on Sunday that "many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal."

President Donald Trump speaks to the Ohio Republican Party State Dinner, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Columbus.
Evan Vucci / AP

The Trump administration has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Columbus and several other cities for allegedly sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.

If last Friday's district court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional were to be upheld, far more than the law's most high-profile provisions would be at stake.

In fact, canceling the law in full — as Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, ordered in his 55-page decision — could thrust the entire health care system into chaos.

The Affordable Care Act faces a new legal challenge after a federal judge in Texas ruled the law unconstitutional on Friday. The decision risks throwing the nation's health care system into turmoil should it be upheld on appeal. But little will be different in the meantime.

"Nothing changes for now," says Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent of Kaiser Health News.

President Trump called a Friday ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act "Great news for America!" Democratic lawmakers rushed to decry the decision, calling it "monstrous" and "harmful." And Republican lawmakers remained mostly quiet Saturday.

Editor's note: This story was updated with enrollment figures made available on Dec. 19.

About 8.5 million people enrolled in health plans for 2019 through the federal HealthCare.gov website by the Dec. 15 deadline.

That's about 367,000 fewer people than signed up during the 6 week open enrollment season last year, a decline of about 4 percent, according to new numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services.

This is the last week of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The number of people enrolling for 2019 has decreased both nationally and in Ohio, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Enrollment in ACA health plans nationwide is down 11 percent compared to this time last year. In Ohio, enrollment is lagging by about 18 percent.

On his first day in office, as part of his mission to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, President Trump signed an order promising to give states flexibility "to create a more free and open healthcare market."

Cade Martin, Dawn Arlotta / Public Domain Pictures

A report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families released Thursday shows that the number of children in the U.S. without health insurance rose by almost 300,000 last year. Ohio was one of nine states that saw a significant increase, at 20 percent.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown,  (left) and Republican Rep. Jim Renacci speaks during a debate at the Idea Center in Playhouse Square, Sunday in Cleveland.
Phil Long / AP Pool Photo

In Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has a double-digit lead in most polls over his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth).

Ohio Voters Rank Health Care Top Issue For 2018 Election

Nov 1, 2018
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

A new Baldwin-Wallace poll, released this week, finds health care is the top issue in deciding how Ohioans will vote for governor and U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

It's time for consumers who buy their own health insurance to start shopping for policies for next year. Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage starts Thursday across most of the country.

But the shopping and buying experience will vary widely, depending on where people live.

In California, for example, where political leaders have always been supportive of the Affordable Care Act, legislators have allocated $100 million for outreach.

Democrat Ken Harbaugh (left) and Republican Bob Gibbs at their only debate one week before election day.
M.L. Schultze / ideastream

At the only debate in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District race, the candidates collided on the expected issues including healthcare, tax cuts and national security, but the killing of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last week came up as well.

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